While he’s been trailing behind Trump, it looks like Ted Cruz is working to breach the gap between him and the billionaire businessman, and has become a serious contender for the GOP Presidential nomination. However, if one NYT article is to be believed, there’s one major obstacle for the Texas Senator: his likability (or lack thereof). In the article, Cruz is portrayed as socially awkward and not very likable.
While the issues is most important when it comes to politics, personality is a major part of it as well. Few people would accuse Cruz of being warm and fuzzy; his tough tactics, filibusters, hawkish rhetoric and in-your-face personality has alienated both Democrats and fellow Republicans. Back in the spring, New Hampshire’s GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen stated that Cruz represents “everything that is wrong with the Republican Party in Washington”. Even Vice has had fun mocking this video of outtakes from a campaign ad, where Cruz coaches his family on what to say to the camera. Cruz has admitted that he isn’t the type of guy you’d want to sit down and grab a beer with, but insists that he is the guy who can drive you home and get the job done. However, that’s not to say that he isn’t approachable; one Cruz adviser has described him as a fun-loving “night owl” with a “nerdy” side, and those who have met him know that he does have a sense of humor. One example is this video, where Cruz combined the traditional Texan fondness for both meat and firearms to cook “machine gun bacon”.
A portrait of Cruz as not being too likable could prove a major obstacle for the presidential hopeful. A simple caption or concise image matters a lot, with impressions sticking as the media develops shorthand for each candidate. Over the weekend, a Times editorial described Cruz as a “bellicose senator from Texas”, citing his vow to “carpet-bomb” ISIS. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza says that Cruz has the most direct route to the Republican presidential nomination, due to his big budget, conservative values and a strong shot of winning Iowa. If Cruz will emerge victorious over the still-formidable number of fellow GOP presidential hopefuls remains to be seen. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to click here!